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  1. #1

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    Film choices for Pt/Pd printing

    I would like to try my hand at making some portraits to be printed in platinum/palladium. Are there any particular advantages or drawbacks among these films?

    1. Ilford HP5+
    2. Tri-X
    3. TMax 400

    And are there any developers to specifically avoid? Thanks for any information you can share.

  2. #2
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    HP5+ and Tri-Xwhile very good films are not good for Pt/PD because they do not expand well to give the long scale desirable for Pt/Pd. T-Max 400 is used by many, but is too expensive for me. My favorite is Ilford FP4+ because of its response to expansion. Good old D-76 does a very good job with FP4+. Again my preference is different - I use Pyrocat HD or one of its derivatives.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    What Jim wrote, tho I use Ilford's Universal PQ Developer with good results for Pt/pd printing...but not for portraits...landscapes is what I do.

    But if you pick subjects that already have a ton of contrast, any of those films you listed will also work fine. If you choose to work with those films (that have the advantage of speed), you might experiment with more contrast in your portrait lighting than seems "normal" to our eyes.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  4. #4
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I'll put in another vote for FP4+, and Pyrocat HD. I do mine 1:1:100 in a Jobo processor. I will also plug another film you didn't mention - Arista.EDU Ultra (aka Fomapan 200). It produces beautiful negatives that need little or no contrast agent when printing. Of the three you listed, I'll second what Jim Noel said about Tmax 400 - great film, but pricey. I save it for doing night photography where the minimal reciprocity failure is a huge asset.

  5. #5
    payral's Avatar
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    Most of my work is pd/pt printed and I use only TXP Kodak film set at 200 EI (8x10" & 5x7") I develop in ABC Pyro 1+1+1+7 for between 10 and 12 minutes (developed in trays).
    I use few and very often no contrast agent.

  6. #6

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    I like HP5+ developed for 7m in tmax in a jobo processor.
    I print pure palladium without contrast agent.

  7. #7

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    I've been trying to kick HP5+ (8x10) into action with a bit more contrast. So far Rodinal at 1:25 for 8 minutes with constant agitation is not enough, even using a contrast agent (potassium dichromate). My next run will be in the region of 12 minutes. If that doesn't give me what I'm after I'll test Delta 100.

    I've seen the wonderful work of Ian Leake who uses HP5+ developed in Rodinal and they are just beautiful.

  8. #8
    wilsonneal's Avatar
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    My experience is that with the exception of TMX 400, all those films can work. I got good results with HP5 and HC-110. I had a lot of trouble personally with pyrocat. Much of this I now realize is that I was overexposing. What I learned is that when you're over developing to get higher CI, you inevitably raise the shadows as well, and I wound up with generally dense negatives that didn't have appreciably higher CI. The key for me was to rate the film closer to box speed, and then over develop to raise CI. Since then I've had a MUCH easier time and use a lot less Na2 than I used to :-)

    Currently I am having success with TXP and HC-110 in a Jobo 3005 on a unicolor rollerbase.\

    Neal

  9. #9
    michael9793's Avatar
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    One that no one has mentioned that I like is, Efke 100. i use it with Oriental Seagul, Azo and Pt/Pd. It has a thick emulsion and is like alot of the old films. the tonal range is quite good. The only thing I don't like is the emulsion scratches very easy. But I use it in 8x10 and 8x20.
    "Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph” See my updated website: mandersenphotography.com

  10. #10
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Crone View Post
    I've been trying to kick HP5+ (8x10) into action with a bit more contrast. So far Rodinal at 1:25 for 8 minutes with constant agitation is not enough, even using a contrast agent (potassium dichromate). My next run will be in the region of 12 minutes. If that doesn't give me what I'm after I'll test Delta 100.

    I've seen the wonderful work of Ian Leake who uses HP5+ developed in Rodinal and they are just beautiful.
    Use a pyro developer, forget the Rodinal. The pyro stain will increase the actinic DR of the negative without having to resort to long development times.
    Don Bryant

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